James Anderson
Number one! England seamer James Anderson. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

England bowler James Anderson appears to be improving with age and the 40-year-old seamer is back on top of the International Cricket Council Test rankings for the sixth time in his illustrious career.

At 40 years and 207 days Anderson has knocked Australian paceman Pat Cummins off his four-year perch to become the oldest player to top the ICC Test rankings.

Anderson, who has taken more Test wickets than any other fast bowler in history, played a key role in England’s 267-run victory over New Zealand in last week’s first Test in Mount Maunganui, England’s 10th win in 11 Tests.

His seven wickets took his career total to 682 and for the first time since his maiden series in 2003 his average is now below 26.

202 wickets

Anderson shows no sign of losing his edge either and since he turned 35 he has taken 202 wickets in 56 Tests at a miserly average of 20.56.

The previous oldest player to top the ICC Test rankings was Australian legspinner Clarrie Grimmett in 1936.

Anderson will be back alongside strike partner Stuart Broad in the second Test which starts in Wellington on Thursday.

The duo became the most lethal bowling partnership in Test history in the first Test against New Zealand with their 1,009 wickets from 113 matches together moving them past the previous record of 1,001 between Australia’s Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.